The beef checkoff program is the first commodity to be inducted into the Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators (MUFSO) "Supplier Hall of Fame." Cattlemen's Beef Board chairman Jay O'Brien accepted the award on behalf of the beef checkoff program recently in Dallas, TX.

The beef checkoff was "a very appropriate choice," said Paul Frumkin, deputy managing editor of Nation's Restaurant News, which produces the award. "They have participated with us for years and have been active in educating members about ways in which beef products can be menued more creatively for the restaurant patron and more profitably for the restaurant operator."

Hall-of-fame induction is reserved for "those select few suppliers who have set a standard of excellence for an entire industry through their outstanding commitment to quality, delivery and service." Other inductees in MUFSO's 47-year history are American Express, Ecolab, Coca-Cola and Rich Products.

Beef promotion in the foodservice industry has been notable, particularly in 2006, when nearly 8.4 billion lbs. of beef, valued at more than $25.7 billion wholesale, was sold via the foodservice channel. Checkoff partnerships with major restaurant chains last year resulted in 10-million lbs. in sales.

Foodservice has played a major role in establishing the Flat Iron, Petite Tender and Ranch Cut steaks -- all products developed with checkoff dollars. The combined sales volume of these three cuts last year totaled 169 million lbs.
-- Alaina Burt